How to get up without an alarm clock

(Disclaimer: I keep an alarm clock as backup. But most days I can wake up before it rings.)

Sleep is one of my obsessions. For most of my life, I had trouble waking up on time for school or work. A few years ago I discovered that I could wake up on time without an alarm clock (or more accurately, wake up before it rings).

How to get up without an alarm clock:

1. Find out how much sleep you need for an active day (say 8 hours of sleep)
2. Find out the time you need to wake up every day (say 0700)
3. Subtract time (1) from time (2) to get your bedtime (0700 – 8 hours = 2300)
4. Start sleeping regularly at your bedtime (2300) and keep an alarm for your wakeup time (0700).

Is it not elementary, my dear Watson? Do this for a week or two and soon you will find yourself awake before the alarm clock rings.

Both you and I know very well that there are devils hidden in this simple method. One of them is the bedtime. A consistent bedtime is required for this to work 😉


6 thoughts on “How to get up without an alarm clock

  1. Mo 2012-03-11 / 12:12

    I’ve always relied on my body clock for it. First sign of light on my skin and and my eyes open right away. It also works when I switch timezones – so long as I have enough light, I always wake up on time.

    The flip side is, if I sleep very late, I don’t get enough sleep.

    • Ash 2012-03-11 / 13:11

      Mo: Lucky you! If I get hit by sunlight I will just bury myself under a pillow or blanket or close the curtains and jump back into sleep. These actions are not under my control 😉

  2. Pramod Biligiri 2012-03-11 / 12:37

    Not fair! I was thinking your post will be based on the latest research in evolutionary neurobiology, including links to lifehacker or malcolm gladwell (or both) 😉

    • Ash 2012-03-11 / 13:15

      Pramod: LOL! Make no mistake, I follow all the latest research and articles on sleep. They split hairs on the amount and kind of sleep only. The human body still seems to need some kind of regularity to wake up consistently.

  3. vaidya 2012-03-13 / 17:21

    Never works for me. Have never missed an alarm clock, but my body needs one. My phone has alarm settings for weekdays, for weekends I just wake up whenever I want to. Its anywhere between 7 or 9 depending on the loudest hawker on the street!

    • Ash 2012-03-15 / 17:26

      Vaidya: What do you mean you never “missed” an alarm clock?

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